In the fast moving world of web marketing and design it is often a struggle for businesses and organisations to work out which latest industry innovations are game-changers and which are merely desirable extras.
If you think optimising your website for mobile falls in the latter category then it is time to think again. This year it is predicted that smartphones and tablets will supersede desktops as the most commonly used devices to access the web in the US, a trend that is being mirrored in the UK. And last month, Google finally confirmed what industry analysts have been predicting for some time, namely that they will be penalising websites that are not mobile-friendly in search rankings.
So what are the issues with websites that are not optimised for mobile?
Tablets and Smartphones all feature browsers that allow the user to surf the internet, but due to the limited screen space available a standard desktop site simply does not fit. Most smartphone and tablet users will have experienced the frustration of having to scroll repeatedly across or up and down a site, zooming in and out to find the function they are looking for while the rest of the content is rendered invisible. This is exacerbated, particularly for smartphone users, by the lack of a mouse to hover over certain functions such as drop-down menus.
Simply making a desktop site mobile compatible is not a complete solution either. Most users will abandon a search if a site takes more than 5 seconds to load, and the average sized website already pushes that patience threshold to the limit. Factor in larger sites, sites that feature lots of images and variations in network coverage and you are likely to leave your audience – and potential customers – frustrated. With a myriad of online companies offering different advice and off-the-shelf packages it can be difficult to tell which is the best route to take.
At Optix Solutions we pride ourselves on getting to know our customers’ businesses and then, and only then, designing bespoke online marketing and web design solutions that truly meet specific needs and budgets.
There are inevitably short-term cost implications in gearing your website up to make the most of mobile, but the benefits of ensuring clients and customers can access your site via the platform of their choice make it an investment well worth making in the longer-term.
If you are still in any doubt about the importance and growth of mobile, just take a look at these two contrasting picture of crowds gathered in St Peter's Square, Rome, for the announcement of the last two popes: